Around 200 people gathered outside the Dunanney Centre on Monday afternoon to call for an end to attacks on the community facility.
The Rathmullan Drive property, home to Newtownabbey Citizens Advice Bureau, Bryson Future Skills, Friends of the Somme and other organisations, has been targeted four times in recent months. It was extensively damaged in an arson attack in July, and sectarian graffiti was painted on the external walls of the building last week.
The crowd at Monday’s rally heard Rev Frank McKeown from Rathcoole Churches Community Group outline the important role the centre plays within the local area and talk about the good work of the organisations based in the building. He thanked the local community for showing their support for the centre and its staff, and made a plea for attacks on the property to stop.
“After this fourth attack we can no longer just keep going; we need to say enough is enough,” he commented.
Speaking on behalf of political and community representatives at the event, North Belfast MP Nigel Dodds added: “It is important that we reiterate our support for the work that goes on here for everybody and that we stand up against criminality, violence and intimidation.”
• Read more in this week’s Times (on sale Wednesday, August 20)